Italian pair Iensa and Astengo won the inaugural DAFL Summer Padbol Cup. Image Credit: Supplied

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 was a date to remember as DAFL (Dubai Amateur Football League) staged their inaugural Summer Padbol tournament.

The event was won after a fun and action-packed evening by the Italian pairing of Michele Ienso and Fulvio Astengo. It was staged in association with DAFL’s official Padbol Partners, EPP (EmiratesPadPro Sports Academy), the company bringing the exciting new sport of Padbol to the GCC region, and was staged at EPP’s sparkling new Padbol arena in Al Quoz.

Brilliantly set up and handled by EPP, the event was played over the seven purpose-built courts and, with prizes worth Dh2,200 each for the top two teams, proved to be fast, fun and, as the games developed and the players adjusted to the rules and strategies of the new sport, increasingly skillful and enjoyable to watch.

Two groups

Teams of two, with all players coming from the 9000 plus players registered within the DAFL ranks, and coming from such diverse origins as England, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Italy, East Africa and France, battled it out in two groups with the top two teams in the groups facing off in the semi-finals.

The gripping semi’s saw the English pair of Parker and Misslehom lose out to the eventual winners and the Egyptian brothers Ahmed and Yousef Hossam, working hard to overcome the athletic East African pair of Eman and Junior. The final was a really close fought and entertaining battle with the Hossam brothers constantly threatening to take the title but the Italians digging in and eventually holding their nerve to win at the death.

DAFL’s Madyar Chizari, who played in the tournament, commented, “it is a fantastic sport; it is fun, it keeps you fit and any footballer with a basic level of skill can play. Whether you just play socially with friends or competitively like tonight, it is the perfect complimentary sport for all football players. I really loved it”.

1000 calories

Semi-finalist, Scott Misslehom, added, “Up to the end of the third game, I had already burnt 1000 calories just having fun and doing what I love, kicking a ball. I go to the gym, work hard for a tough hour and burn just 250 calories. As a league footballer, Padbol will keep me sharp, fit and is great fun to play. I will be back for sure”.

Winners Iensa and Astango were delighted with their medals and cup and agreed that their first time at Padbol won’t be their last. “We had a lot of fun. I really like this game!” added a smiling Fulvio Astango as he carried the inaugural DAFL PadBol Summer Cup home.